Prior to November 2005, the longest exposure I’ve had to golf was when I played mini-golf with my Travelers friends from law school at Camp John Hay ages ago. I think I made a mini hole-in-one then as well! So when Vannie Siloterio, Lingkod Fund Development Head asked me to co-emcee this year’s Tee Off for the Mission: Hole-in-One for the Holy One, I hesitated. My golf vocabulary was pathetic and my knowledge of the game was non-existent! How could that glorify the Lord of the service?
But I could not say No to Vannie. Who can, actually? Have you tried it? It’s a futile exercise. She’s very persuasive and that’s why she’s doing a fabulous job with Fund Dev. She said that Joseph P., my Kuya Jopeng, would be my co-host. I presumed Kuya Jops had played golf sometime in his life. I was wrong.
At the Pizza Hut fellowship of Lingkod QC last week, I unburdened my work-related woes (I know, lucky me) and the people around me were very supportive. Both Ted and Fr. Steve had the same quotation from Mark Twain, the one about the definition of golf being a good walk spoiled or something like that. I could not use that as an opening or as a joke lest I wanted to risk being dragged off the stage by the good-hearted players who would support our fundraiser. They tried to give me a crash course on golf but it was funny listening to them, a priest and a lawyer who obviously did not like the game anyway.
I met briefly with Vannie and Jopeng before the program started and they said I could survive hosting while understanding only “Mulligan”, “Hole-in-One”, and “Tee Off”. Jopeng researched a golfers’ joke and found one from Mon Samson’s dad who texted, “They say golfers don’t die, they just putter away”. I think a wine bottle (one of the raffle prizes) should go to Jopeng for the effort in delivering that joke!
The Golf Team worked hard and it paid off. God answered our prayers for golfing weather, because the sun was up all day on November 8. There were 80 players who turned up, three of whom are my former bosses. We had more than enough minor and major raffle prizes and a significant amount was raised through sponsorship. Lingkod staffers arrived to lend support to the team and we served in various capacities, from cashier to cameramen to singers. Bheng, Ate My, and I sang along with guests Allen and Glen, through the help of Jet Sitaca on keyboards. It was pretty difficult to sing on two hours of sleep, as our call time was 5:30 a.m. at Alabang Golf and Country Club, and I was very relieved when the deed was done.
It was my first time at the AGCC and my first time inside Ayala Alabang. When I got home that night, and my parents asked me where I came from, they thought it was a non-Lingkod activity. They had never associated golf and Ayala Alabang to Lingkod. Oh well, Ma and Pa, I’m from Lingkod QC, a branch without golfers, but there are other branches whose members played and even won (Congratulations, Roman!) in the golf tournament.
This is a very interesting job you have, my parents said. I agreed with them, for I also saw the mansion of Jose Mari Chan at Ayala Alabang for the first time that day! The Lord sends generous people to support His mission and these were the sponsors, donors, and players for this year’s Lingkod Golf tournament. The partners from my previous law firm said that they would play a better game next year so I should just inform them about it. I wasn’t sure about a next year, but I heard that Vannie and Tito Randy were already planning to top this event.
Hopefully by then I would have read a proper book entitled Golf for Idiots, not that the fundraiser needs it, but for my own personal satisfaction.